Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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The Funeral of Dr. Joseph Thomas
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The funeral of Dr. Thomas, 98, was held in Trinity United Methodist Church in Jasper on Monday, December 23, 1996. The ceremony was solemn, reverent, and prayerful. His wife of 66 years, herself now 94, was able to be there. Though not well, she greeted visitors and played her role with great dignity and grace.

Dr. Thomas was a Methodist Minister, but he was very comfortable with Catholic thought and had the deepest respect for the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas. He was one of the first non-Benedictine faculty members in our College. He loved to teach and could scarcely put aside his teaching mode. His love for St. Meinrad and all that we stand for was unbounded and he seldom missed an occasion to say so. He and Mary had lived in Jasper for over twenty years. He had made many friends and had impressed the community by his gentlemanly and kindly ways. Of those who were able to attend his funeral though I am happy to say that a goodly number were in some way related to St. Meinrad and its programs. Present from the Abbey were: Fr. Damian Schmelz, who gave a touching memorial statement after the minister's homily; Fr. Bede, as academic dean of the college; Fathers Simeon, Columba, Cajetan, Jeremy, Harry and Jonathan who sang three numbers. Present also were the following faculty members: Dr. Holsworth, his wife and two children; Mr. Gill Ring and his wife; and, Mr. Terry Lyden and his wife. Barbara Crawford was there from our Development Office.

I had a particular affection for Dr. Thomas and his graceful ways. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for the hundreds of books that he donated to the Archabbey Library. His knowledge of books in many fields was phenomenal. He treated them as personal friends and parted with them only when he knew they would be appreciated and cared for. He will be missed. May the Lord rest his soul.
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